Who’s ready for show and tell? When it comes to dishing out SEO advice, it’s just that - advice. There’s a lot of best practices, things you should do, things you should avoid, etc. Sometimes, it can be hard to visualize what that advice actually looks like in practice. And often, it helps to have some examples of where things are done really well.
So, today we’re going to look at some examples of great ecommerce SEO in the form of product descriptions. These are the heart of your product page SEO, giving both search engines and potential customers insight into what your product actually is or does.
That means product descriptions are an essential pillar of your SEO strategy, and we’re going to look at some top ecommerce merchants to give you a better idea of what your product descriptions should look like.
What makes a great product description for SEO?
Let’s start with some of the advice for how to go about writing a great SEO-led product description.
Write for your target customer personas
Satisfying search intent is one of the most important aspects of writing a great product description. In order to do that, you need to write for the different buyer personas your brand targets. Doing so requires you to consider the customer’s needs, their awareness of your brand, their familiarity with your products, and the kind of information they may need to make a purchasing decision.
Create a few buyer personas, and then read back any descriptions through the lens of that customer. For example, say you sell coffee and you want to target customers who may be unfamiliar with your brand and products. They have little knowledge of coffee, and perhaps they’re buying for someone else. What kind of information would help? Equally, you may have a customer who is highly informed about coffee and varieties, so what information would they be looking for? Consider too the kind of search intent they may have - are they ready to purchase, or are they just researching?
Add technical details outside the main body of the description
Technical details are essential for a product page, however they often don’t feel like they belong in the product description itself. The product description should have a readable flow, and technical details can disrupt this. After all, it sounds natural to say “This extra large suitcase is perfect for those long vacations” rather than “This extra large 80x55cm 150L suitcase”. The first flows and gives context to the product, but a customer will still want the information in the latter.
Therefore, include technical details outside the main body of the description. Add all the details a customer may need to know in order to make a decision on its suitability. Dimensions, material, color, unique features and qualities etc. This allows customers to better visualize the product, and make a more informed decision.
Ensure description length is dictated by the product and customer awareness
Often in SEO, you’ll hear advice that long-form content is better than short-form. However it’s better to match the length to the content, and the same applies to product descriptions. There are some products which don’t require a lot of explanation as the product type is widely understood, for example a t-shirt. It would seem odd to have a lengthy description for these kinds of products. There are also products which will require a lot more detail in the description, as they may be more technical or niche, for example furniture or smartphones. For these, it wouldn’t suit search intent and may impact conversion rates if you don’t give enough detail.
Include target keywords throughout the description
Of course, no piece of SEO-led content would be complete without keywords. These ensure that search engines can discover and rank your content for users to find in SERPs. Including target keywords in product descriptions will increase the likelihood that your target customers find your products. Consider how to incorporate long-tail keywords into product pages, even if not in the product description summary. This could be in an expanded description, or an on-page product FAQ.
#1 - La Colombe
If you’re in need of a caffeine hit, La Colombe sells a variety of coffee, equipment, ready-to-drink cold brew, and more. Theirs could easily be a product purchased by someone who has no knowledge of coffee looking for a gift, or an at-home barista looking for the best beans. Their product descriptions follow an easy-to-follow format that remains the same across their range of coffee beans.
Here’s the description of La Colombe’s Corsica coffee beans:
The information is concise, while still highlighting the “need to know” information about the coffee. Product descriptions for something like coffee have to strike a balance between enough and too much information. After reading La Colombe’s description you know:
- The flavor profile for the coffee
- The origins of the coffee
- The roast level
The suggested serving style
These are qualities which their customers will be looking for when searching for coffee. There’s enough information for customers who have little coffee knowledge without overwhelming them with technical details. There’s equally enough for those customers who know a lot about coffee, as they’ll know the kind of flavors and roast levels they enjoy most. They also use smart internal linking, with links to brew guides and other information on how to best enjoy the product.
#2 - Thirdlove
Sometimes, buying clothes is straightforward, like buying a t-shirt. Other times it can be a little more complicated, like buying a well fitting bra. Thirdlove sells a range of women’s lingerie, activewear, and loungewear, designed for comfort and the perfect fit.
Thirdlove’s success comes from their dedication to ensuring every customer can find products that fit their needs, whatever they may be. Their product descriptions reflect those varying needs, as no two customers will have the exact same wants from their underwear. Perhaps one customer wants better support, whereas another wants a specific type of material.
Let’s take a look at the description for their Kinetic Impact Sports Bra:
The description details a variety of different features and qualities that their customers may be looking for. This reflects the keywords and phrases that those customers may use in search queries, and therefore is a great example of clever keyword placement. These include terms like “no-bounce support”, “best high impact sports bra”, “Wireless built-in breathable cups” and more. They also name the type of sports that the bra is best suited for, i.e. running, cross training etc. The description gives enough detail on the fit of the bra, and the kind of support it offers, which will be important depending on the size the customer is looking for.
#3 - Yummy Bazaar
When you sell a range of niche products, customers will often need a little more education. Google and other search engines rank content based on its usefulness to the user, and if you don’t give enough information, then the user won’t understand the product and will move on. This can result in higher bounce rates, lower conversion rates, and ultimately, slipping down in search rankings.
Yummy Bazaar sell a wide variety of imported foods from around the world, and their product descriptions do a great job of giving customers additional information and education as to what makes that product unique. Here is their product description for Kewpie mayo - a mayonnaise from Japan.
What stands out right away about the description is its length compared to previous examples. This reflects how much information the customer may need to make a purchasing decision. The difficulty with food products, and especially imported foods that may be more expensive, is that you as the merchant need to convince the customer why they should spend a few extra dollars on a product they could buy at a grocery store. There may also be extra education required about the product if it’s uncommon, as to its uses and ingredients. In the case of Kewpie, it has somewhat a cult following and Japanese mayonnaise is becoming popular. Yummy Bazaar have carefully crafted the product description to reflect all of these aspects that may affect the page’s search ranking. The description achieves the following:
- Includes keywords related to Kewpie, and Japanese mayonnaise.
- Includes keywords related to specific qualities and uses of the product outwith the product name and type.
- Gives customers examples of how to use the product in recipes and every-day cooking.
- Describes the product’s flavor profile and ingredients.
It’s clear and easy to understand, making it useful for the customer if they come to the page via search and know very little about the product. It also gives customers with higher product knowledge a little extra information they may not know about the origins of the product.
#4 - Facetory
Beauty products, skincare, wellness products, and more are a tricky category to write descriptions for. They often involve chemicals or compounds and ingredients that customers are unfamiliar with, however in order to understand the benefits they need to know what those ingredients actually are. After all, how can a customer purchase a product designed to benefit them if they have no idea what they’re putting on or in their bodies?
Facetory sells a range of skincare and grooming products inspired by South Korean trends. Their products are cruelty-free, and designed to be approachable to their customers. Their product descriptions then need to get across all the benefits in an easily digestible, widely understandable way while also targeting the keywords and phrases that will lead customers to the product.
Let’s look at the description for their Smooth & Soothin' Body Care Duo:
Immediately, it’s clear the keywords and phrases they’re targeting. For their customers, they’ll be searching for products that tackle specific issues they have with their skin. “Body acne”, “calming down redness”, “improves skin texture”, and “skin-soothing” are all examples of the kind of phrases customers may use in their search journey. The description goes on to describe and explain the specific ingredients in the formula, in a way that’s easy to understand. It isn’t bogged down by technical jargon, but still gives the customer the information they want to make a decision.
#5 - Ring
When it comes to anything technology related, customers really take their time in deciding to make a purchase. And especially when that technology is related to safety and security, such as Ring. Their security systems provide customers with high-spec, connected security systems for peace of mind even when you’re not at home. Their product descriptions need to get across not just the technical aspects of their products, but all the features, set-up details, and use-cases.
Packing so much into one product page can be overwhelming, but Ring has managed to do so by breaking the description up across the page.
Let’s look at the description for their Wired Video Doorbell:
The main product description has all the essential details of the doorbell, along with the priority keywords Ring wants to target in search. “Affordable wired video doorbell”, “real-time notifications”, and “Alexa-enabled device” are all examples of the kind of keywords their customers may search for that don’t involve their brand name. The length is appropriate for the kind of product, while still being quite concise.
However, that won’t be enough detail for their customers. After all, security is a big concern for their target audience. Therefore, they use the rest of their space on the product page to expand on the details that matter most.
They start with a summary list of the primary features, followed by expanding on these features in their own individual paragraphs.
These extra sections give Ring the space to include more useful information, which will benefit potential customers and in turn, their search ranking. They’re also able to include more target keywords for the product and brand, in a way that makes sense rather than keyword stuffing the main description. This means the product description at the top of the page is kept succinct and clear, making it easy for customers to scan the description for the information they need right away. They can then scroll down to expand on that information if they need it.
#6 - Neighbor
We all know roughly what size a t-shirt will be and what it will look like, and the same goes for tech and even beauty. Images and descriptions give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. But what about furniture? That’s definitely something you want to have a good grasp on what to expect will show up at your door!
Neighbor makes high-quality outdoor furniture designed to bring the style of your indoor spaces outside. With something as bulky as a sofa, their customers need to be clear on what they’re getting. Their product pages are carefully designed to give customers all the information they need without bulking out the description.
Here’s the description for their The Sectional outdoor sofa:
The product description achieves the following:
- Concise - In just three sentences, Neighbor conveys exactly what the product is wasting no time or word count.
- Descriptive - Despite being relatively short, you can still get all the key details of the product. The materials, key features, design, and use-cases.
Keyword focussed - There are a number of keywords for the product included in the short description.
When the customer lands on the product page, they can get an overview of exactly what the product is, and what it's made of, alongside the images. If a customer is early in the buying process, then their search intent before finding this product will likely be exploratory - they’re only just starting to consider a product to suit their needs.
If a customer is further down the buying process and wants more technical information, Neighbor gives them exactly that with dimensions and diagrams as well as just how many boxes the sofa will be delivered in.
They also expand on some of the key features of the sofa, such as the material the frame and cushions are made from, and the durability of the hardware used to put it together.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and for many customers this will be whatever you put in your product description. Get it right and not only will you improve conversion rates, you’ll also boost your product page SEO and bring in even more engaged, interested customers.